Innovation. Celebration. Collaboration.
One of the richest business pitch competitions in the nation.
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  • Collegiate Competition Grand Prize Winner: NATIVE
  • Collegiate Competition Runner-up: Change Composites

Presenting Sponsors

Colorado State University Blue Ocean Enterprises, Inc.
Collegiate: May 27, 2015
Enterprise: May 29-30, 2015
Fort Collins, Colorado

The Competitions

So much more than a business pitch competition,the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is a collaboration between Blue Ocean Enterprises, Inc. and Colorado State University that was created to ignite entrepreneurial spirits, attract and recognize the best new business ideas, and celebrate the Fort Collins and Colorado entrepreneurial ecosystem. The week’s free events will bring together some of the most influential trailblazers in the industry to the Colorado State University campus.

Collegiate Competition

Collegiate Competition

$20,000 grand prize 

6 months of business mentoring

from the experts at

Blue Ocean Enterprises

Moves on to compete in

Enterprise Competition

$5,000 second Place

Find Out More

Enterprise Competition

Enterprise Competition

$250,000 grand prize

1 year of business mentoring

from the experts at

Blue Ocean Enterprises

 $25,000 second place

Find Out More

The Trolley Pitch Competition

The Collegiate Competition participants get another chance to pitch their ventures. As a historic street car makes its way around Old Town Fort Collins, each team will have two minutes to present its business plan to a panel of experts before the trolley stops and a new team gets on. All are welcome to hop on the Trolley to watch the action.

Find out more >

The Events

The Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is a week-long event to be held in conjunction with Fort Collins Start-Up Week in Fort Collins, Colorado. The public is invited to participate in the experience and be a part of the excitement by attending the week’s many activities.
Fort Collins Startup Week

Other Challenge Events

May 26 Fort Collins Startup Week Opening Ceremonies
May 27 Rockies Venture Club – Collegiate Triage
Collegiate Bash
May 28 Fort Collins Startup Week Launchpad and Expo Hall
May 29 Rockies Venture Club – Enterprise Triage
May 30 Youth Entrepreneur Showcase
Company Showcase/Expo
Keynote Event – Jeff Hoffman
Blue Ocean Bash!
See Complete Schedule Download Program Guide

The Competitors

CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge competitors are passionate leaders with a goal of changing the world through innovative ideas, hard work and ethical business practices. Competitors will present and defend strong ideas, practical solutions and growth potential. Sixteen Enterprise finalists and 13 Collegiate finalists will be chosen from across the United States to participate in this exciting opportunity. All companies must be incorporated, for-profit ventures with Federal EINs without required non-disclosure agreements.

Collegiate Competition Competitors

Competing for a $20,000 prize and entrance into the Enterprise Competition, 13 collegiate competitors are aiming to prove their business idea is better than the rest in the Collegiate Competition. These passionate and fresh faces from colleges across the state of Colorado have a chance to give their new business ventures a running start. Teams are limited to four presenting members, and at least one founder must be a currently enrolled student or recent alumni from an accredited university in Colorado.

Colorado State University

Colorado Mesa University

Colorado State University

University of Colorado - Boulder

Colorado State University

University of Colorado

University of Colorado

University of Colorado

Colorado State University

Colorado State University

Colorado State University

University of Colorado

Colorado State University

Enterprise Competition Competitors

With $250,000 on the line, 16 companies from across the United States have their eye on the prize of the Enterprise Competition, which also includes a year of mentoring from Blue Ocean Enterprises and other notable prizes. The enterprise track competition is not for brand new concepts; the companies selected to compete must demonstrate at least $100,000 in gross annual revenue or investment in the last 12 months. The competitors will be judged by a panel of esteemed experts.

Fort Collins, Colorado

Morrison, Colorado

Parker, Colorado

Scottsdale, Arizona

Longmont, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

University of Colorado

New York, New York

San Francisco, California

Boulder, Colorado

Boulder, Colorado

Boston, Massachusetts

Loveland, Colorado

Los Angeles, California

See 2014’s Collegiate Competition competitors and Enterprise Competition competitors.

The Judges

We have a total of 32 highly esteemed judges involved in the competition. These individuals have a wide range of expertise and are primarily current investors and entrepreneurs. We are honored to have this highly influential group of judges participating in our event in this capacity.

Collegiate Competition Judges

Co-Founder, Partner, Sequel Venture Partners

Founder and Executive Director, Philanthropiece Foundation

Vice President US Sales, Trend Micro

Co-Founder and CEO, Lasso Media, Co-Founder and ex-CEO, Photobucket

Founder, Unreasonable Group

VP of Innovation and Product Management, Otter Products

Managing Director, MWM Global Holdings Ltd

Audit Partner, PwC

CEO/Founder, Decibullz

Retired, United Launch Alliance

Managing Director, Capital Value Advisors

Solutions Strategy & Management, Rally

Enterprise Competition Judges

Venture Capitalist and Angel Investor


Managing Director, ATP Fund

Co-founder and CEO, MergeLane

Director, Galvanize

Founder, Priceline

CEO, Emerge Medical, INC

Project Manager, Corporate Investment, Delta Electronics Capital

Founder, ThriveOn Group

Executive Director, Rockies Venture Club

Co-founder and Partner, Unreasonable Capital

Executive Vice President, Aurora Organic Farms, Inc.

CEO, ThriveOn Group

Senior Marketing Manager, Silicon Valley Bank

Managing Director, Access Venture Partners

CEO and Founder, Outward Hound

Vice President of Worldwide Product Management for Workstation and Thin Clients,...

Trolley Pitch Competition Judges

Co-founder and Co-director, Boomtown Accelerator

Founder and Serial Innovator, The Shuuk

Co-Founder, Epicentral Coworking and President, CALM Foundation

The Sponsors

The CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge epitomizes collaboration and uplifts community. It’s an opportunity to come together as an ecosystem that nurtures entrepreneurs, grows businesses, and is passionate about building a shared entrepreneurial vision. This annual event wouldn’t be a reality without the generosity and vision of our sponsors

Presenting Sponsors

Visionary Sponsors

Launch Sponsors

Seed Sponsors

Financier Sponsors

Angel Sponsors

Stakeholder Sponsors

Friend Sponsors

Sponsor in 2015

If you want to explore sponsorship, please download our sponsor packet and sponsorship levels or inquire at

The Location

Colorado State University, Fort Collins Campus

Situated about an hour north of Denver, Fort Collins embraces an exciting urban lifestyle with a friendly small-town feel.

Getting Around

Get around with the Transfort bus system or by bicycle – Fort Collins is one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the country, and you can borrow a bike from the Fort Collins Bike Library.

What to do

Need a break from challenge festivities? Fort Collins is known for its historic Old Town, dining and nightlife, arts and music culture, and prodigious number of craft breweries. There are also some great natural areas nearby, including the landmark Horsetooth Rock. Find out more specifics from Design Sponge or Visit Fort Collins.

Where to stay

Fort Collins has a variety of accommodation choices, including the Hilton (425 W. Prospect Rd.) and the Marriott (350 E. Horsetooth Rd.). Find other accommodation options.

About the Challenge

Created by Colorado State University‘s Institute for Entrepreneurship and Blue Ocean Enterprises, Inc., the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is one of the richest business pitch competitions in the nation. The CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge aims to bring into one inspirational week the best college entrepreneurs, innovative startups, and young, growing companies. While it is a celebration of innovation, the Enterprise Challenge also is a very real chance for one business to walk away with $250,000 in cash. The CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is held in conjunction with Fort Collins Startup Week.
Fort Collins Startup Week

In the Press

Decibullz Takes 250k Blue Ocean Challenge Prize and Turbo Charges Custom Headphone Business (January 20, 2015)

The Denver Post Techknow Bytes. (Jan. 13, 2015)

The Denver Post. (Jan. 5, 2015)

TechRockies. (Nov. 20, 2014)

Colorado State University Collegian. (Dec. 8, 2014)

Coloradoan. (Nov. 26, 2014)

Philadelphia Business Journal. (June 5, 2014)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (June 13, 2014)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (May 27, 2014)

Built in Colorado. (May 23, 2014)

The Coloradoan. (May 24, 2014)

Boulder County Business Report. (May 23, 2014)

CSU Magazine. (Spring 2014)

U.S. Air Force Academy. (May 10, 2014)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (May 9, 2014)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (May 2, 2014)

Pitch Zoo. (May 9, 2014)

Algae Industry (May 2, 2014)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (Apr. 30, 2014)

Today @ Colorado State. (Apr. 25, 2014)

Fort Collins Coloradoan. (Feb. 14, 2014)

FalconWorks (Air Force Academy). (Feb. 13, 2014)

Today @ Colorado State University. (Feb. 12, 2014)

Download Press Kit

On the Web